usually somewhat silent about It. Then, after a few
weeks, they began to look forward to their next leave
again, and to talk about this future fact. But there
wasn't much to be said about mine, for it was bitterly
cold and a heavy fall of snow knocked my hopes of
hunting on the head. So I remained quietly with
Aunt Evelyn at Butley, telling myself that it was a
great luxury to have a hot bath every day, and waiting
for a thaw. If it thawed I should have two or three
days with the Eingwell on Colonel Hesrnon's horses.
And I should stay at Hoadley Rectory. But no thaw
came, and I returned to France without having been
to the Rectory, which had been a painful idea, in any
case. The Rector evidently felt the same, for he wrote
me a sad letter in which he said "as I think of all the
suffering and death, the anxieties and bereavements
of this terrible struggle, I feel that in our ignorance
we can only rest on the words, 'What I do thou
knowest not now but thou shait know hereafter'.
Obedience and self-sacrifice for right and truth in
spite of suffering and death is Christianity. . . ." I
received this letter on my last day at Butley. Sitting
alone in the schoolroom late at night, I felt touched
by the goodness and patience of my old friend, but I
was unable to accept his words in the right spirit.
He spoke too soon. I was too young to understand.
And England wasn't what it used to be. I had been
over to say good-bye to Captain Huxtable that after-
noon; but the War was making an old man of him,
though he did his best to be bright. And kind Aunt
Evelyn talked bitterly about the Germans and called
them "hell-hounds". I found myself defending them,
although I couldn't claim acquaintance with a single
one of them (except Willie Regel, and I shouldn't
have known him by sight if I'd met him).